Very nice lunch and conversation about church communications with a local clergy person today. I’ve been encouraging some local churches to be brave about their online communications.
I have to say that I’m only a facilitator and any progress they make is not down to me but dependent on their own passion, energy and prayer. I’m really not an expert but here are some thoughts.
It seems to me that communication is absolutely important for any church. Our churches don’t just related to the media they ARE the media in many ways. They are places where people come together to discover fundamentally important things about where we’ve come from, who we are and where we are going. People connect with each other and the world around them applying their values, sharing analysis of what they see and experience and recording their journey for future generations.
But the church risks becoming disconnected if it uses only the religious language of the insider and fails to venture out into the public agora.
Take a look at what Pope Benedict had to say
Many people are actually discovering, precisely thanks to a contact initially made online, the importance of direct encounters, experiences of community and even pilgrimage, elements which are always important in the journey of faith. Full article here
The churches presence online requires more effort I think it’s safe to say. For many traditional Christians the internet is a dangerous and confusing place – but it’s only so because it’s a place full of strangers who talk different. Much safer to avoid contact with people you don’t know or can’t easily understand (which of course works both ways). We need to build confidence and patiently try to understand.
I have decide to habitually look at church online activity and jot down a few uninhibited notes. The notes will be published on the church online page on this blog. I’m bound to offend someone.
In general the picture I get of the church through parish websites is fairly grim. I’m about to look at your church website so delight me please.